There is a single camera that has started to gain a huge, cult-like following, has every feature imaginable, is highly portable and is a functioning cellular phone: the iPhone. Everyone is aware that the newer iPhones come equipped with well-made digital cameras, but many are not aware of what these little devices are truly capable of. iPhones are rapidly replacing every other camera on the market because of their versatility, size and the multitude of add-on applications available, making the photographic possibilities, practically, endless. Many photographers, even professional-level ones, are abandoning their beloved DSLRs and 35mm film cameras in lieu of the iPhone. The initial gripes about using an iPhone for anything other than quick snaps came from its inabilities to manually adjust, its overly compact physical feel and its limiting lens capabilities. Well, with the advent of a huge number of applications and physical add-ons, all these gripes have been nipped in the butt.
There has recently been an arms race in the field of iPhoneography for mock camera bodies that attach to your iPhone and turn them into full-on, highly functioning digital cameras. These cases allow you to easily slip your iPhone inside to allow your mobile device to achieve photographic capabilities such as: utilizing different lenses, mounting on a tripod, and increased stability. There are a plethora of defunct attempts to make these camera body cases, but there are a few worth investing in. One of the leading photo add-ons for the iPhone is The Phocus, which is a case that fully encompasses your iPhone and gives it the look and feel of a digital camera with interchangeable lenses (including a wide-angle and fisheye). There are also more simplistic add-ons such as afisheye lens that attaches itself to your iPhone with magnets and a mini LED flash that attaches to the bottom of your phone called the iFlash.
The Phocus.Image: techcinema.com
The real draw of the iPhone derives from the huge amount of applications available that allow for quick, easy, and effective photo processing. Many professional level photographers have latched onto a handful of these apps and use them on a daily basis. One of the best features of these apps is that they are usually no more than $1.99 or, in some cases, completely free. Here is a breakdown of the two most highly recommended apps:
1) Camera +
Camera+ has helped to pave the way for iPhoneography and has helped it to be considered a tangible and respected way to take photographs. With the installation of this application, you can perform many of the manual settings that high-performance digital cameras offer such as: setting the exposure independent of the focus and useimage stabilization. The real draw to this app lies within its photo-editing capabilities. The Clarity filter is among one of the most beloved for iPhonecamera users and allows people to transform their shots into professional-looking photographs. You may easily adjust the intensity of the photo-processing as well, which makes Camera+ a must-have for true iPhoneography enthusiasts.
This application was part of the reason iPhone photos become so popular, trendy, and retro-looking. The Hipstamatic application gives your iPhone the feel of an old-school, analog camera while giving you the ability to switch lenses, types of “film,” and different flashes that give your photographs that highly sought after “polaroid-like” look. To add authenticity, your photos take a few seconds to “develop.”
In addition to these two apps, there are multitudes of other photo-editing and sharing applications to choose from that enhance your photographs and the iPhone photo experience. Some applications tend to play into a certain niche and perform alternative functions than merely editing and enhancing photographs. A few examples of task-specific apps include: The Landscape Sweeper which allows you to take a panoramic photograph by merely sweeping your camera left-to-right, The Framer which allows you to combine multiplephotos into a professional-looking timeframes, and Instagram which is a photo-sharing social site, which also allows you to apply filters to your photos in order to add a desired effect.
Instagram Screenshot.Image: iTunes
Well-known, professional photographers such as Sion Fullana, Dominque Jost and Dan Berman, have started working almost exclusively with the iPhone and have primarily been sharing their photographs online, as opposed to a gallery setting, on social media sites such as Flickr. The speed and efficiency of the photograph processing on the iPhone is unparalleled and a huge reason that so many are gravitating towards using the iPhone as their primary camera. So, think what you will about iPhoneography, but although it may appear to be a bit gimmicky it is quickly becoming the dominant format for practicing photographers.